Delicious Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

foodie-14-10-1-pumpkinI had some cans of pumpkin (I keep them on hand because – well – it is that time of year friends!) and I decided to try out a quick pumpkin bread recipe. I love to have various breads made up in the kitchen so that we can use them for quick snacks, in lunches, or as a side to breakfast.  I also love baking with the  kiddos – we just get in there and make a huge mess but it is something we can do together  – a focused activity with a pretty positive (most times) outcome.

So this week, Jackson and I scoured pinterest for a bread we could make without butter (I was out!)  We stumbled across this recipe and it didn’t disappoint.  Since I was out of butter, I had to make the crunchy topping with coconut oil which turned out pretty good actually.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

And for the topping:

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease your bread loaf pan.
  2. Now start with the bread.  In a large bowl mix all of your dry ingredients together (not including stuff for topping!).
  3. In a medium, separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared bread pan and smooth it out with a spoon.
  6. Now to make the topping:  mix all the topping ingredients together in a small bowl and stir until everything is well combined.
  7. Sprinkle the it over the the top.  Then I added just a bit more white sugar on top – sprinkled over for an extra crunch and I’m glad I did because it really added to the bread.
  8. Now cook for 40-50 minutes. I checked mine right at 40 and it was definitely done. You don’t want to overcook this thing because the moist cake like texture is what makes it so yummy.

Enjoy fall yall!

pumpkin-bread

Need to Use that Avocado?

fitness tips logo

In this past post we chatted about WHY avocado is such an awesome thing to add to your diet.  But, maybe you need some ideas on HOW to use it.  Well the ladies in my boot camp classes have that for ya!  Check out some of the awesome ways they incorporate this super food into their daily diet.

 

Aspen:   I love to toast a slice of bread and top with 1/2 an avocado, salt and pepper. Yum.

Stephanie:  Avocado is my everything. I can’t find the recipe I’ve used, but this is similar. http://www.handletheheat.com/no-bake-vegan-gluten-free…/ I really don’t think I used chocolate chips, just cocoa powder. It’s delicious. The crust is really important, so don’t skimp and use store bought.

Stephanie added:   I’ve also been eating a “salad” of chopped avocado, red onion, cucumber, tomatoes and cilantro with just a bit of evoo and lemon juice. Super fresh, easy and yum! Add black beans for protein!

Tristan:  I have friends that add avocado to smoothies/protein shakes. It sounds weird, but it makes it creamier and you don’t taste it! That’s a great way to get more healthy fats in your diet if you don’t like actually eating avocado.

Eileen:   I eat half an avocado over a fried egg. Salt and pepper. Super yummy and lots of protein right there! I also make avocado mash..just mush it up and use it like a condiment on a sandwich.

Tristan added how she makes her avocado mash:  Avocado mash, plus some cayenne pepper, salt & pepper & lime juice mixed in with tuna or chicken for tuna salad or chicken salad (instead of mayo)

Laura B says to keep the avocado from turning:  I make a half an avocados worth then save the other half and the unmade chicken separately for the next day.

Another way to sneak in the awesome benefits of avocado is through avocado oil!  Even just putting a bit of avocado oil on your food will get you some of those awesome avocado benefits.  Check this article for 9 ways that using avocado oil can help with your health!  Let’s talk about #8 and stretch marks! What what!!!

Thanks boot camp ladies for sharing your ideas!

 

Cereal – Oh How I Love Thee


cerealWe are working together in my FITness Foundations class – working through nutrition questions. We’ve really been chatting about protein and how to get it in at each meal.  We think eggs, egg whites, oatmeal, etc. but
 who doesn’t love a big ole’ bowl of cereal?!
 
Cereal isn’t all bad friends.  First all – all things in moderation. Don’t label things “bad” and “good” – that just set us up for failure because we begin to really crave the things that are “bad”. But instead find ways to incorporate what you love into a healthy FIT routine.
 
So I want you to visit this website.  I really liked this list. The general goal in any food choice is to keep things under 9 grams of sugar per serving.  Let’s look at the list:
Look at #5 – you get a full cup and you only get 8 grams sugar – however only problem 4 grams protein (we aim for 20 grams at a meal). So if we need more protein we have to add maybe 1/2 cup of egg whites for about 60 calories and 13 grams of protein?
 
Look at # 14 – YES – now we are talking – you get a full cup with 11 grams protein! – no guilt there – add your side of egg whites and this is awesome.
 
There are also some great tips at the bottom of the link too!
So check it out, go buy a new box of cereal, and enjoy!

Avocado Anyone? Dietary Adjustments Always Being Made.

fitness tips logoI am a fan of balance – it is something I STRIVE for in my personal life. Do I think you need to track your calories and macros every day for the rest of your life? No. Do I think occasionally it is good to plug it in My Fitness Pal to see how you are doing? Yes. I haven’t been tracking lately and I have had some dietary changes (we’ve completely cut dairy because of tummy issues). I also started getting back into my old vegan ways (man I do love vegan diets) so I thought – I better check my protein levels.
 
Whoops. super low
 
Carbs/sugars. super high
 
Ok – so what do I try? Well I don’t overhaul everything today I can tell you that. But
I can make some changes. So today I decided to cut down on my normal AM carbs and replace them with some protein and healthy fats. I had 2 egg white
s + 2 egg omelette with veggies and 1/2 avocado with sea salt for breakfast. Yall. Yum. I thought I would miss my normal breakfast but this was delicious. So today’s challenge is two parts:
 
1. Do you need to mix up your diet a bit to get in all the major nutrients you need? It is hard to jump out of a rut but you may discover you found something you love (like me and my avocado and sea salt!)
 
2. Try adding an avocado to your day today. Why?
 
1/2 of an avocado has around 100 calories/120 depending on size and with that 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. But only 9 grams of carbs making it a low carb food (7 of the carbs are from fiber!)
 
No cholesterol.
 
No sodium.
 
Low saturated fat.
 
Higher in potassium than a banana (and lower sugar)
 
Loaded with fiber. This can help with blood sugar control, keep you fuller longer, and helps with gut health.
So I hope this encourages you to think about ways you can continually improve your diet in a small, steady way.  Changes don’t have to be huge – they don’t have to be devastating.  Find some areas to work on and make small changes that promote good healthy balance.
Happy avocado eating friends!

Blueberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt

Again, pardon my Greek yogurt fix.  I just love that there are so many options out there where I can add in a dollop of Greek yogurt and instantly up the protein count.

I stumbled upon these little gems and thought they would be a great addition to our breakfast rotation since we:

  1. have a Costco sized tub of yogurt
  2. have a fresh blueberries from my CSA box

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour – Using this made it dense so if you want a lighter muffin do a mix of all purpose and whole wheat or just all purpose
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and prep your muffin tin with liners or spray!
  2. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a different bowl, beat the egg then add in the yogurt, honey, sugar, milk, and vanilla, and mix it up until it is really combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tbsp of flour to prevent them from bleeding or sinking to the bottom of the muffins, and fold them into the batter. (I loved that tip and have never thought to do that!)
  5. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin tins.
  6. Bake for about 20-22 minutes until they are firmed up and a tooth pick inserted in comes out clean.  Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire baking rack (or your mouth!)

So yum.  I think these will be good with a quick reheat in the microwave in the morning and a slab of PB on top for extra protein! Yum!  Oh and bonus – I added up the calories for you.  If you make 12 muffins, each one will be 140 calories. Boom!  Less than a standard granola bar and packed with clean ingredients and extra protein.

Enjoy friends!

Oh! Check out the original recipe here!

 

Five Ingredient Banana Bread

real foodAs many of you know, I’ve been trying to self diagnose some tummy troubles. I’ve settled in on dairy being a culprit.  I’ve always struggled with digesting dairy and this seemed like a logical place to start.  After about 3 weeks of being dairy-free, I’m feeling a bit better. I’m not 100% like I wanna feel yet, but I can certainly see the improvement.

That being said – snacks can be limited when you aren’t taking in dairy.  Bye bye my Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, cottage cheese.

 

Ahhh! So I’ve been on a mission to find some dairy-free alternatives.  I’ve been mostly doing hummus or guacamole in the mornings with veggies and then a dairy free muffin for afternoon snack with a drizzle of peanut butter.

After about 3 weeks of eating this way and really not taking in many processed snacks, I decided to grab a protein bar yesterday on my way out to teach an afternoon class. Yall. That thing rocked my world. I felt YUCK all afternoon.  I realized – my body really does best with snacks that are home made where I can control the ingredients. So now I’m on the war path for even more clean, healthy snacks.

Enter:  my new fave banana bread.

It was so easy to throw together and I was surprised at how yummy it turned out.  I think it will be perfect for an afternoon snack for me or quick breakfast on the go for the kids.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 smashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup (well the original calls for 1/2 but I ran out and it tastes just fine!)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional but not really optional am I right!)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a bread pan.
  2. Combine all the ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden!
  4. Remove from the oven and let it cool.

I would recommend storing this yummy guy in the fridge.

I used a calorie counter to figure this up.  I had to divide my bread into 10 slices.  They seem kinda tiny but because of the nutrient dense content, the tiny slice is quite filling.  If divided into 10 slices you are only looking at about 190 calories/slice. That is how much I use for my afternoon snack because it powers me through to dinner.  So that is perfect – and way more clean than a 190 calorie granola bar with tons of stuff in it. This has 5 things in it.  And is around 190-200 calories which is PERFECT to power me through to dinner and keep me from binge eating the kids’ gold fish snacks at 5:30 pm.

Win!

Enjoy!

Dairy Free Blueberry Muffins

muffinOk long story that I will share later, but I think a dairy-free diet may be in my future. Instead of whining about it like I wanna do (ok I did whine), I decided (after my pity party) to start looking for dairy free fun recipes. I tried this out yesterday and they are almost gone. My kids are loving them (especially Elli). I’ve been topping mine with natural pb for an afternoon snack. Elli likes hers with strawberry jelly. I figured them up in my MFP and each one has 160 calories. Less than some granola bars and totally clean.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp veggie oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar
    + mix in (for mine I used 1 cup frozen blueberries but next time I may try chocolate chips!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. Add flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl and form a hole in the middle.
  3. Mix oil, water and eggs together in a different bowl and then pour into the hole.
  4. Stir just until flour is moistened. Add fruit if using.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Mine took 15!

Makes 12 muffins – each muffin has
161 calories
only 4 grams of sugar!!

Yum!!!!

From Real Moms!

kindergarten

If you look back, I shared a post here about some awesome hunger-pain smashing snacks. These are snacks that are packed with protein and vitamins and fiber and really get the job done. Because – let’s face it – as moms…we don’t have the luxury of sitting around all day and picking away at snacks here and there. We need power packed food that will fuel ALL the things we have to do.

When I shared the list with my boot camp mamas, they had some awesome ideas for snacks that I thought I would share here too. They are just too good to keep secret.

  • ok sweet potatoes weren’t on the official list but they should have been. And what about sweet potatoe w/greek yogurt and black pepper? Thanks Jennifer and Rachel!!
  • I bake eggs, egg whites, red pepper, mushrooms, spinach (and a little feta) in the pampered chef brownie pan (so they come out in little squares). Yum Jennifer!!
  • Ideas for oatmeal:
    Adding some vanilla extract helps to not add so much sugar too – perfect tip Naomi!
  • You can also add cocoa powder, vanilla and raspberries! I use a small amt of real maple syrup to sweeten. – Genius Rachel and totally happening for me tomorrow!
  • I add almond butter to my plain oatmeal! Extra protein! Double bonus!! Thanks Tristan!
  • Now here is one I haven’t thought of…ever.
    I like instant Irish oatmeal, I’ve been eating cinnamon raisin Ezekiel bread with cream cheese & hot sauce ! (Pickappeppa) Suzie and Janis are creating some serious flavors over here!
  • I have discovered my new favorite breakfast after seeing the idea in a magazine…scrambled eggs with cottage cheese on top…it is SO yummy!!! Thanks for the tip Laura!
  • Genius way to make popcorn:
    Trick for microwave “Air Pop” brown lunch bag, 1/4 kernels (maybe more been a while since I did this), folder or twist or secure the top with a microwave safe material. Not sure how long, but do it by ear. – Thanks Kristin!
  • You guys are soo great for sharing. Do you have some good hunger-smashing snacks/meals up your sleeve? Share them with us!

Chocolate Chip and Banana Muffin Minis

I’m kind of on a Greek yogurt kick right now. I buy it in big tubs at Costco so I like to have alternate uses besides just the – eat a bowl of yogurt idea.  I have a few recipes I want to share. This one is super special though because it comes from my friend from way way way way back. Like – we were in the nursery together.

We’ve sh
ared a lot. Now we are sharing recipes.  Here is a picture of her recipe – I jsut love that it has notes and smears all over it. When that happens – you KNOW it must be good!

So take a peek at the recipe but then also check out her notes:

  • I don’t put any of the white sugar
  • I cut the brown sugar down
  • I use almond milk
  • I also stick in a blob of Greek vanilla yogurt.
Molly says, “They are yummy! I double this and use mini muffin tins (only takes 8-9 min to cook). Then I freeze them and they eat them for breakfast almost every day for a couple weeks!”
What an awesome idea for an on the go breakfast or a quick afternoon snack.
Gonna make a batch this week for sure!
 recipe

French Toast in a Cup

Print

This was a fun thing to make and I even let the kiddos help. They got a kick out of it. I personally like to go ahead and make two of these because the recipe calls for 1/2 of an egg (if making only one) and I have no idea how to do that. When we have some eggs we need to use up in the house – this is a fun option.

Here’s what you need:

  • microwave friendly mug
  • 4 slices bread (I use whole wheat)
  • little bit o’ butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk (any kind will do)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • powdered sugar (optional BUT not really!)
  • syrup

Here’s what you do:

  1. Melt the butter in your mug and swirl it around to coat!
  2. Take your bread and cube it.
  3. Put 2 slices of bread cubes in each mug. Smush it around a bit but don’t compact it because we want the liquid to b able to move around.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, 3 tablespoons of milk, sprinkle of cinnamon, dash of vanilla.
  5. Pour half of hte egg mixture into each mug and let it sit a bit so it will soak down in.
  6. Microwave each mug for about 1 minute. Take it out and check. If there is still a bunch of runny liquid cook more at about 10-15 seconds per increment.  I overcooked ours once and it isn’t yummy that way – makes the bread hard.
  7. Now the fun part – add syrup, powdered sugar or whatever else your heart desires (fruit, cool whip!)

Enjoy a fun breakfast that makes everyone happy!